in photo: Coconut Industry Strategic Planning Workshop attended by different national agencies and CALABARZON coconut farmers.

CALAMBA, LAGUNA — To provide support to coconut farmers in terms of research, marketing, and promotion and as one of the implementing agencies of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A conducted the Strategic Planning Workshop on Coconut Industry in the CALABARZON Region on June 7, 2023 in Calamba City, Laguna. The workshop aimed to provide a platform for all stakeholders in the coconut industry to come together and develop a comprehensive plan for the industry’s growth for 2023-2026.

Coconut is one of the priority industries that CALABARZON is registered in. The CFIDP was drafted following the signing of the Republic Act 11524, or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Fund Act, of then President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on February 26, 2021. It was approved through Executive Order 172, which was signed on June 2, 2022. The law aims to return the coco levy funds to the country’s coconut farmers and increase their competitiveness.

According to the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, the Philippines is the second largest coconut producer in the world. 69 out of the 82 provinces in the country are coconut-producing provinces. There are presently 3.1 million farmers of coconut based on the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS) data. 347 million fruit-bearing trees are approximately planted in the Philippines with PhP 91.4 billion average export earnings.

“Aside from the global market, coconut also has many potential buyers domestically such as retailers, supermarkets, food processors and service providers, hotels, restaurants, catering service operators, leisure resorts groups, tourism gateways, health and wellness sector and associations, culinary schools and other universities and colleges, corporate buyers, and the general public. We want our farmers to take advantage of these markets,” said Mr. Emerson Labang of DTI-BDTP.

During the workshop, the Philippine Coconut Authrority Region 4-A talked about the coconut industry in the country and the CFIDP system framework for program coordination, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Furthermore, Ms. Ma. Melvin Joves of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau discussed the market certification requirements, opportunities and trends on coconut and coco-based products, and the Bureau’s functions to the CFIDP. The participants were also updated on the accomplishments of implementing agencies in the region and the key challenges and opportunities faced by the coconut industry in the region. Finally, the 2023-2026 Strategic Action Plan for Calabarzon was developed.

DTI Region 4-A Division Chief Priscila Flores highlighted that Calabarzon’s coconut production is steadily rising from 2021 to 2022. The region produces both food and non-food coconut products such as virgin coconut oil, coco sugar, coco water, coco vinegar, lambanog, tilbok, coconut jam, buko pie, coco chips, coco powder, nata de coco, coco coir, coco shells, jewelries, and decors, geonets, coco lampshade, and coco peat.

100 participants attended the workshop, and majority of them were CALABARZON coconut farmers, growers, processors, and partner agencies. Along with the DTI, the CFIDP is supported by other national government agencies and financing institutions like the Department of Agriculture, DA-Agricultural Training Institute, DA – High Value Crops Development Program, DA- National Dairy Authority, DA-Bureau of Animal Industry, DA- Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Department of Science and Technology, DOST- Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Commission on Higher Education, Landbank of the Philippines, and the Development Bank of the Philippines. In the CALABARZON region, the provincial government of the five provinces and their municipal government along with the region’s state colleges and universities are also involved in the project.

“After this meaningful discussion, we are looking forward to the continued support and active participation of our value chain actors and clients to the successful implementation of the CFIDP program,” said DTI 4-A OIC-Regional Director Marissa Argente in her welcome remarks.

Date of Release: 14 June 2023